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Us 20, U.s. 15, Panetta 10, China 7, United States 6, Pete Peterson 5, Obama 5, Europe 5, Syria 5, Afghanistan 5, India 5, Pentagon 5, Va 4, Iran 4, Nunn 4, North Korea 4, Asia 4, Washington 4, Virginia 4, Burma 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    December 7, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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isn't everybody find it? and you finally say this is what is going to happen so the markets don't crash. and all the dreadful things don't go into effect on january january 1st. and brigety served the space. and guess what they want? how do you fix the numbers? it could be the plan. >> but you will also get about four or $500 billion less revenue. >> right, they are going to have to get something on entitlement reform. you have to make that up in the details. >> i think there's going to be -- i personally believe that there's going to be result to the issue that you were talking about. but the issue that you are raising here is the one on tom cole, the conservative republican member from oklahoma has focused on which is he kind of sees more than three weeks
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ahead. she recognizes that if you get into january, it is free to be very difficult for republicans in the house to tell the american people that everyone's taxes are going out in order to provide this extra tax break on the amount of income about to enter the $50,000 which is exactly why tom cole has said let's not roll the dice on that issue. the question is rather, just talking about house politics now that isn't a good place to be. and that placed the policy wise and politically and therefore demonstrated a willingness to address the issue i would like to see it today not in the scenario that you are talking about.
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>> i'm with the potomac research group. what i hear you saying is the negotiators are probably going to use a baseline that is different from the congressional budget office and senator warner talks about getting savings from the tax rates going up on what the americans. as i understand, it is already built into the cbo baseline. so, in terms of getting to that four to 6 trillion-dollar how much are we talking a lot in terms of real savings and in terms of tax increases, and how much are we talking about in terms of coming you know, just a redefined baseline? and then in the other question is can you give us an idea in terms of framework we are likely to see at the end of the year are we just going to see a bunch of top line number $800 billion with some sort of trigger or are we going to see the details, and
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if we see a bunch of top line numbers, how long does it take to get to feeling that an and drafting the legislation to get it through the congress? >> i would like to answer the second question. >> there is an old adage that says you don't learn a lot on the second kick in the shin from a mule. we've down this road of process. we have 12 fighting high caliber people that work on the super committee, six republicans and six democrats and we are in this and $46 trillion of your money over the next decade that this outstanding growth of people couldn't come up with $1.2 trillion say it is almost beyond belief. so for me i just have to tell you since i know all of the decisions that we have to make
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are not intellectually demanding they take the local courage i cannot agree through any process like you just laid out again there isn't a lot to learn from the second go round. this 100th of congress plus it puts the fiscal cliff and place right now and you lay it out i'm sorry, count me out. stacte want to take the first question? >> you raise a good point. this is where people's eyes glaze over. they can say whatever you want them to say. but the notion, i do think that there's been to the relationship between revenues and the titles and if we want to go bigger the
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better we need to push all of those, the smaller unit and the less you do on the other side, but there are some who say the idea of the american public is going to buy into this notion okay we are going to look devotees taxes go up so everything can be returned in a tax cut, and we go through this magical power. they are going to think 90% of the approval. so, you're going to have a general consensus. you do this year to get 500 of that in the interest savings alone. this should not be as challenging as it is.
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>> the other thing i would disagree about is the fact and i have been a huge jet kit and continue to be a huge advocate of tax reform debate and it's a critically important piece and i do think the notion that you couldn't create a more efficient tax code than we have got right now, and i think there's for example more going on between folks who try to categorize the current income as long-term capital gains and there's a medicare fraud. i don't think people -- the of the hugely supportive of bipartisan efforts and they said recently, you know, the republican colleagues i don't think that we have a vested in a
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major way in that kind of what it means to go through tax reform discussion. we really get down to the details because i know it's going to be painless and you have to go through that debate because of the end of the day there are many that say let's go to brazil as opposed to hear cutting and then get them back and that would be a valid exercise. >> don't tax you, don't tax me coming and you will find that out. estimate on the second piece and then on the second piece. the first piece, the danger with putting the goals in the savings and cuttings and taxes in its regular order i'm afraid the regular order won't produce the results.
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to build another fiscal what on pressure which puts us right back where we are or have a default mechanism which the policy set aside that was sides don't like about media is a lot of bad alternatives for both. it's important for people to understand in the current lull this is a fact. if the converse packed its bags right now and went away at the end of the tenure period the deficit to gdp ratio would be under 1%. succumbing you would solve the deficit problem. estimate under 1%? the percentage of your debt as the deficit to the gdp. the deficit to gdp. a deficit to gdp. now, we don't want to get there that we. the same way we don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. in other words, the fiscal cliff is a big austerity.
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we get $7 trillion in the deficit reduction over the last ten years. but you don't do it the way we want to do it. when it comes to the baseline, we have to work together as part of an agreement to get the right baseline but that doesn't mean it is not for real world deficit reduction. it is. does it mean that it's better than the current law? maybe not. but there is an agreement that in the fiscal cliff is not the best way. >> we could add the baseline. the deficit to gdp. >> you said the deficit. >> you look at the current line baseline and get under 1% of deficit to gdp. >> seven years and 7 trillion of
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debt reduction. if anybody wants to read more about, please look at that space on what it takes. i thank you all for being here today. one reason we have to end it is that these people are going to be so instrumental in getting us out of this mess that we have to get them back to work. >> , come thank you. [applause] >> more about the impact of the fiscal cliff coming about as the joint chief of staff
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>> i think the writers institute is very important that in the culture. we are a culture of words, of
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the voices. the words are key to our imagination and a capacity to envision things. we ourselves are tied to print on the page. but i think there is no other art form so readily accessible that is something in literature and the just captures the human spirit. .. former chairman of the joint
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chiefs of staff admiral michael mueller joined former senators in the house armed services committee chairman this week to urge congress to avoid sequestration. also speaking over the next 50 minutes, arms services committee chairman sam nunn, ike skelton and the national security hosted this event in washington, d.c.. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming. my name is pete peterson. i would have given you a review of the foundation and why we are supporting the project you are here about today. starting about 30 years ago, after studying the profound demographic trend, and the vast unfunded pharmacists that we've made, i decided that our projected long-term, and i
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emphasize long-term debt or not only on sanibel liguori primary threat to the future. speaking of unsustainable, in the nixon white house and which i serve, the chairman of the council of economic advisers used to say if something is unsustainable he said it tends to stop for he said if you don't like that, if your horse dies i suggest you dismount. well i think we have been he'd be eating as the we can write this more or less indefinitely. in lu of a quiet, i decided to set up and non-partisan foundation whose principal mission would be to increase awareness of the long term debt and various solutions and try to get something done. never in my experience have our
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fiscal securities, our economic securities and our national security been more closely linked in the words of speech of the greatest threat is our debt. we are endlessly reminded that everything must be on the table including defense which accounts for 20% that you probably know of the budget that the defense doesn't seem to be on the table in terms of lightly discussed solutions or strategies. instead we confront the sequestration, a thoroughly bad idea for getting the defense budget or any other budget unless we take action we could take a fiscal or economic crisis that forces the cuts to the military priorities, steep and arbitrary cuts that are more
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coherent or prioritized. the question is can we and how do we achieve savings that can improve our fiscal outlook while meeting our national security needs. to quote at arnall mullen again, he said the pentagon budget was basically doubled in the last decade and in doubling the ability to prioritize to make the decisions to deutsch analyses to make trades. we also need a review of the defense strategy that makes sure that we are preparing for the threats and risks of the 21st century, not those of the past. the efforts on the longest lines to help advance the best ideas for improving our defense strategy. earlier this year, we've funded
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the project by the simpson center that brought together 15 defense experts to examine our strategic defense priorities in some detail and how they should be reformed. today we announce a new coalition for the fiscal and national security. the coalition chaired by admiral mullen includes national's senior security if the defense and economic from both republican and democratic administrations stretching back to more than 30 years as well as leaders in the congress and putting some very distinguished gentleman here today. all served the nation with distinction, and they are joining together now to say very clearly that our leaders must find solutions to the long-term fiscal challenge because the nation's security depends on it.
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it's now my pleasure to introduce the chairman of the coalition, admiral michael lamb served as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and capped a very distinguished 43 year career in the united states media including service as the chief of naval operations. while serving in the navy he also managed to obtain advanced management training at harvard business school. you have a combination of practical military experience and sharp budgeting and management knowledge that the adderall possesses, respect for mike mullen is the reason so many distinguished chose to join this coalition and its now my pleasure to add general mike mullen. [applause]
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>> thanks for your leadership on this project which as you sit goes back decades, and i do appreciate all of you coming here today for what is a truly critical juncture for the nature and terms of our national security. our economic viability and continuing leadership role overseas. it was in response to a routine question more than years ago when i first link to these concerns. you ask me what is the greatest threat to the united states security. as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff i got asked that all the time. i answered in two words, that. i think i surprised him. today 50 former senior national security officials served across eight presidential administrations and formed the coalition to stress the need for
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elected officials to act. not only has the passage of time exacerbated some of the economic problems, it is revealed perhaps equally political. our inability to grapple with the pressing fiscal to the just represents nothing less than dhaka crisis in our space order. compounding the instability and unpredictability in a volatile world. ever proposition is simple. the national security in the united states depends on its economic health. that must be ensured by averting the immediate crisis, and by laying the ground short for the rigorous long-term program of the debt reduction, smart investment, economic growth, and lower income inequality. in the national security spending, we can target investments much more efficiently than response to
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threats that are evolving before our eyes. and resources need to be shifted towards them on military elements of the national security posture. in the immediate term, and by that i mean over the next four weeks, we must avoid driving the country over the fiscal cliff. no partisan ideology is worth the cost to the nation. but just averting disaster and kicking the can on the tough structural decisions needed to place our economy on sound footing for the future is not enough. we are calling for a framework to build out over the last ten years to reduce the deficit and restructure the fiscal policy. succumb as eventually to bring the budget into balance they must raise more revenue and encourage growth we must include
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parameters defined and future levels of debt as a share of the gdp and a date by which the budget will balance. and it must include changes to the discretionary spending, entitlements as well as defense. the elected leader should launch and extradited process to enact the legislation that will construct this remark in 2013 and putting powerful, the appropriate defaults and enforcement mechanisms. without a recalibrating sustainable fiscal policy, the united states international standing will decline and its national security will be undermined. such an outcome would be bad for the united states and in our view bad for the world. as pete said, she and i are joined here today with three distinguished individuals hoffa. we made a difference and had to
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come up with tough solutions to very complex problems. and it's been a privilege for me to be with them in approaching what this coalition and those who are not here today have brought together to try to inject some energy in the right place at the right time. next appear will be senator sam nunn, longstanding german and senate armed services who understands our country and national security as well or better than anybody that i have ever worked with. thanks to pete peterson for getting this group together and for so much else and for michael and the peterson foundation have done in terms of bringing attention to the fiscal challenge we face and mobilizing support for the rational and
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moral mullen thank you for the tremendous leadership and for the citizens and the recent months you have led the statement that basically the biggest risk that we have to national security is our debt and unsustainable fiscal policy is one that i totally endorse and agree with and i commend you for making it because your impact is very powerful so that is my first point. my second point is that even if we avoid the short term debt crisis, the so-called cliff, and i hope that we will, the interest on debt in the years to come will increasingly dominate the budget and pressure defense in a very serious way. so, without addressing a long-term tenure solution as the admiral has outlined, the defense budget is going to be
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under increasing pressure. that is inevitable and of course the interest rates haven't even started going up which is also inevitable at some point. third point i want to make is the problems within the internal defense budget and the dynamics of the internal defense budget are also makes the problem more difficult and more complicated. and also require a longer term to address some of these costs. first of all the rising health care cost and third, procurement and efficiencies. each of those has it's own individual complexities. but all are enormously important. so the budget within defense is going to have to be addressed even if the top one is the one that is a rational topline. in other words, we have entitlement within the defense budget now, which are comparable to the entitlements that all of us know that we've got to deal
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with outside the defense budget. my fourth point is the debt and the fiscal picture mick diplomacy and development in a very poor countries of the world as well as what we've called for years prevented defense that makes all of those more difficult and less feasible, and thereby increases americas risk and increase its global instability because we are not in a position to do things that we otherwise would be in a position to in terms of shaping the environment to prevent war. so in my view, americas 60 veto fiscal picture increases the risk of conflict around the globe media not always involving the u.s., though certainly the risk of increasing globally. based on our fiscal picture. the point that i would want to make is the budget deal requires us to deal with a full deck of
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cards and those people who keep wanting to take things off the table. when i say a full deck of cards, that includes defense participating in deficit reduction. this cannot be in the case of defense a sledgehammer approach. it's going to take a long line of dealing with these issues overtime to give the defense department time and they can make in my view very significant changes in the budget, but doing it in a way that does not damage our security. doing it abruptly as the fiscal cliff does or in a very compressed time frame is not only inefficient and dangerous to security in our s. my final point is that they are missing an element in this town is primarily political will, and i say that with regard to both political parties and the solution that has to be forthcoming in the weeks ahead
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and the months ahead will require the leaders to first of all put our nation first. that has got to be the primary focus of our protocol leadership. to put the interest of the country first. so, thank you. it's a great pleasure and west of enormous respect. ike skelton? [applause] thank you. pete peterson, thank you for your vision and putting this effort to get their we couldn't have a better chairman dan admiral mike mullen. he's an outstanding in the past and will continue to be
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outstanding through this effort. the late barbara, historian, author, once wrote a book entitled march of folly when she talked about how certain countries took action and measures that were contrary to the interest of the country. i think that we are close to writing another chapter for the low look shall we go into sequestration and not have this challenge before us. i have spent some 43 years in congress with the gentlemen on
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the stage and i can tell you good stories about sam nunn, john warner and how we had a very difficult issues and got i think sam is absolutely right that it is a matter of political will. let me say that the alternative of not producing a solution to this debt crisis, the so-called fiscal cliff could bring about the sequestration that is the slicing of the military right in half. that would be a disaster in many respects. across the world people would say we can't handle our own country well, our own defense
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well. people across the world will see us feeling to fulfill the duty of the constitution to provide for the national defence and it's up to congress to do that. but after we get this done, let's hope that it does come to pass. the second challenge is out there and that's the challenge to put together a strategy that will keep this country safe and secure. back in the 1947 era, george said what is known as the long telegram from moscow to the white house spelling out the rise of the soviet union and its intentions. president truman and his staff and glued together the
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containment strategy that stayed in effect through general eisenhower's presidency and leader until bill wall berlin came tumbling down and the soviet union imploded on itself. the strategy worked. as we get this is important that we put together a national strategy. there's not one single threat out there but many terrorism, force, state against state challenges, and that's what we must do. and we must nurture those in the war colleges in the state department that have their strategic vision of the ability to glue together a good strategy and make sure that it does come to pass.
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so, i and hopeful we can solve the problem with the the congress can come together as we did in many of the tough choices, and if you watch the comedians from time to time, you will see larry the cable guide, and let me take a phrase from him to the congress. get er done. [applause] >> remember getting a graduation speech one day walking down the aisle and they put a little note in my hand. so i read it during the invocation. i'm going to be brief, colleagues. you have all handled it very well. but i have a rather short message first through my really
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friendly pete peterson exemplify has been privileged to rise to economic strength and material means coming and now you are paying that debate about your country. and you have been by each other's sight for many years likely recall when you first became the rear admiral and you've served your nation. thank you for stepping up and taking this on with pete peterson. to my colleagues, sam and i were chairman, he was the chairman and i was ranking for years. we were drilled in the schools that our leaders told us you have a problem, mr. chairman, the ranking member, do not bring it back to me. and we went into those conferences on that defense bill day after day and night after night, and it wasn't until we
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reconcile the difference between the leadership of both the house and the senate, and then we presented the majority leader and the other deputy in both houses and got it done. this seems to be lacking today and i want to talk about that one point. they had stressed the importance of the defense and i would wish to associate myself with your words about we can't take a sledgehammer we can reduce it so we have to reduce our defense spending somewhat gradually, but it should and will take its share of the cuts in the past we've done very carefully because as is pointed out, we live in a global society. we are the only real major superpower. and what we do affects the whole world. so this problem that we have is not just for the citizens of this country, it is affecting
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the livelihood and the ability of citizens all over the world. rich and poor, and of all faiths. so is a heavy responsibility that is on our president and the congress, but under the framework of our constitution, we have to come together to the two branches of government to rebuild our differences for the betterment of all. one thing about every single member of congress that raise their hand and support the constitution of the united states, just going to in a very simplified way read the preamble which says it all if we are to remove the uncertainty that this great republic can and will govern itself and in that way held the world. we have to go back to this.
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we would form a more perfect union and a stylish justice and so forth, tranquility, provide for the defense. that's what we are talking about. providing for the common defense in a carefully measured way. and second, promote the general welfare. it's not just the welfare of the head of his or the have nots. it's the general welfare of all citizens of this country. and secure the blessings of liberty under the constitution. members ought to simply read that and say to themselves what can i do? while our press release says they should communicate with the people. but i would like to pose a challenge because here is some of it, and i thank each of you for coming. are there people that hold the elections of communications we've only got a short period of
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time to communicate. and i think that we should communicate to those people who are benefiting the most in this country from their economic status, that status having been achieved in a large measure by many years of hard work, sweat and taking a risk, but now is your chance individually and collectively to step up and communicate with your members of congress. the major members, those that benefit the most, that have the most at stake by what we call the working with the transfer and update of our tax structure. communicate now like you've never communicated before with your member congress. your letter coming your communication, however deutsch choose to do it. particularly if you are one of the majors will have an impact
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on that member. the need to know that back home their support will support them again if they seek reelection. it is as simple as that. sam, i can't others have said its courage. and by so doing, we removed with or not this great republic happens to be the oldest, longest continuous operating democrat, former of dietetic government today can continue. what governments means. thank you. [applause] this too we are happy to take questions.
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>> do you believe the american people clearly understand what is at stake? we have tended to not focus i don't believe without quite pressure and clarity on what will happen if we continue. i have only seen one study myself of the various options for how the economy will react if, for example, we go to the window to raise more money, and simply fail without a sharp increase. that would be one scenario. another would be devotee of the suez canal crisis where i guess it was our own president eisenhower who informed anthony eden that if they didn't pull their troops out of suez when they landed to take over from the nationalization, we wouldn't roll over their debt.
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they left. i'm just not sure as i go from seminar to seminar that the fixed that this morning for example, there was no one sitting their like yourself or anyone else that says i am the person who represents the debt. the negative cost of new decisions, the costs always are the cost of continuing where we are going to get have we adequately communicated that to the american people? that it's not just individuals reelection that it's the job is at stake. we could see another recurrence in 2008 and 2009 very easily with an order of magnitude greater trade we can see the recurrence of the energy crisis for mr. petersen when he was the secretary of commerce which completely blindsided the government. what can we do to get this out
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in a clear way? >> secure the chairman but this is a subject that i have thought about. i tend to think of to possible crises. one is a short and medium-term crisis in which we experience partly of the time of the debt limit in the super committee debacle. the financial markets this confidence in the country, and you have a european style crisis. that's the short term at which point it's very hard to get money, interest rates and so forth. even the best case if we don't take action, you have a long-term growth crisis. why do i say that? what does it take for us to
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grow? it takes investments in the future. it takes investment in equipment and science education and infrastructure and so forth. the question many people don't want to consider is when we get those resources? i asked our research department of the would make a prediction from important the interest costs would be if we did nothing and the estimate without any explosion will was as follows. within 25 years or so, our interest costs would jump from about 1% of gdp to 12% of gdp or roughly four times the total investment made in r&d r&d fer, science jaish infrastructure. and if we ever permit that to happen, we will assure that we are going to have what i call a
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slow-growth crisis. please take over, this is your meeting. >> one thing i don't plan to be is an economics expert. i felt this way for years it's not just about the health of our economy, it's about around the world it's going to continue to eat at us and when you put in the kind of time bombs of was the intent. it was supposed to be so hammes that congress would never permit it to happen.
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it's stretched and stressed at the time. i'm one that set for a long time that the defense ought to have paid its fair share but what i worry about in terms of the immediate impact of having to get to your part of the question do people understand this going over the cliff creates a hollow force very rapidly. we are halfway through the fiscal year, so half of the money is gone. of the president does what he says he's going to do, he takes the personal accounts at this
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particular point in time so you have the to tell the of the cuts that gets into the operations and training and the maintenance and really short shoot ourselves in that near term. but just like heat, and i think senator nunn said the same thing, i've been concerned for a long time if we get our heads up and look at a long-term strategy and being involved in this project one of the things that struck me one of the things we started to grow despite the percentage of the global gdp was huge that's no longer the case obviously because we have many other growing economies and opportunities in a world that is so interlinked asking questions about the united states tour we are going.
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all of the minds of other americans must be resolved it seems as if it were a very important issue during the election was an awful lot of the american population. i would just hope that that emphasis and that focus would bring a solution both for the near term as well as the long term. on the near term of the debt keeps on increasing, basically the pentagon budget, the national security budget just gets smaller and smaller and we are becoming more and more unable to carry out the requirements that exist for us in the national security team not just the pentagon but the state department and more and more other parts of our government are involved in the national security if they are
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concerned about whether they can weather and how well we know whether the kick the can, rhode. what will those look like i guess? >> i guess there is the pentagon has taken a little band 13 budgets assuming the 13 budget goes into effect about $900 billion the consensus is in terms of what senator warner and senator nunn have done which is that we need to do this over an extended period of time that it has a gradual enough slopes of the pentagon can actually planned for the future. if we take out another half a trillion dollars which is what is tied up in the sequestration and the way that as my understanding the way law
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requires the cut to be taken, it really is an asks right at the middle which will be so difficult was any kind of a smooth a brief they are the best i've seen in 34 years of having the privilege to wear the uniform we would be fine from the defense standpoint. i would also pick up on what senator nunn tech on quoting military, and i've seen this and the failure to be able to address and preventative defense
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engagement, having a relationship, having other military strain in their own countries not being able to do that just increases the likelihood of some kind of conflict breaking out, which may or may not involve us and that prevented this piece is one of the first pieces under this kind of pressure. i do think that with -- if this is well done creating a framework that the national security team moving forward can put something in place which will address the needs specifically and can be done in 2013i think falling off the cliff makes it very, very difficult. >> i've often said that ibm an example of having humble the served in uniform twice with great consequence.
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blight seen this defense structure since the closing year of world war ii through today, and 30 years in the senate and five years maybe secretariat. you cannot break defense and expect to glue it back together the next day. it has to. it's like a ship moving. it can be break down slowly and carefully, and it can work more efficiently. we recognize, but it is not something you can break and then fix because people are supported. it's the young men and women of the all volunteer force. sure i volunteered many of them were draftees. we don't want to go back to that. but if we don't go back to it because there are sufficient numbers that would step forward and volunteered to let the
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defense cracked they are not likely to join in the numbers in the quality that we need. so never before in history in my time have i seen more urgency for the citizens to communicate with the congress, the clarion call i hope to put it in a message that now it's time for them to speak directly to their members to avoid the sequestration. >> bob samuelson, "washington post". i think the proposals are to reduce the marine corps by 20,000, and the army by 80,000 from their peaks, and there's
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much speculation thamuch speculr cuts in the pentagon budget would reduce the additional cuts in both the army and the marines. if the marines was put in a position where it had to occupy and protected the oil field of the persian gulf for an extended period of time say five or six years are those forces adequate to do the job? >> one of the reasons at least i was able to get through as chairman is to try not to speculate much on hypothet speculate much on hypothetical. the reductions in both the army and the marine corps have been in the budget now, and i think they are in the 13 budget, so basically they have been on the hill, the beginning of them they have been on the hill for the better part of a year and they are reductions both of chiefs of those to services and the chairman also.
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clearly, and i did as well when i was the chairman over year ago, there was a need to come down. there was an expectation to do that as we move from what was a couple years ago to the war in afghanistan where today we still have over 60,000 troops deployed, and as we move to come out of that war and the next couple of years i thank based on what i said before, to look to the future, the pentagon spends a lot of time looking at the contingencies are possibilities in terms of planning not to read this would need to be a very high bar to put a significant number of troops on the ground in some country. that said, i'm also one that can go back the last years and say our ability to predict what we
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are going to do and do it our hour batting averages close to zero. those troop reductions are not going to happen overnight. they have a strategy that looks at the long term independent to meet that contingencies whatever they might be will be able to be met. i have great confidence in our men and women and in the leaders who lead the services as well. >> rich miller, bloomberg. given the possibility that some sort of action may be necessary against iran in the middle east next year, does that argue for getting this thing, putting this on a sound footing now rather than having a sort of hang over
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you cannot and said we are kicking the can down the road this kind of a not a viable strategy. what is -- what may or may not happen add to that argument? >> clearly the uncertainty that is happening with iran is other parts of the world. it is something that is very, very real, and in most what i have tried to counsel on overtime is to do all we can to make sure we don't have another conflict break out in the middle east. that said, the economic impact, global economic impact of another war in that part of the world are pretty draconian although we can respond we certainly focus on this for a number of years, and so i think
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your press and as rapidly as possible is the key thing and that will affect, should we get there that would affect in a positive way our ability to respond to the uncertainty as opposed to the opposite if we are not able to get on a solid footing and we keep eating it at our security resources, this certainly creates a totally different possibilities most of which is a significant downside. >> this is for admiral mike mahlon and the others the would like to respond we can do more with less. are you thinking of a strategy
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for the defense that relies more on drones and special operations forces does it mean not making that hit with any kind of forces we are talking about. what kind of meat on the bone are we talking about here? is there going to be a new kind of a containment strategy you have to put forth as this new coalition? where exactly are you headed? >> i have been one that has, you know, been involved in the budget world a lot, and i have worked hard to stay away from that simple but misleading phrase do more with less trading with leadership focus on where the dollars are going and as senator nunn said, more effective and efficient, getting our arms around the procurement the cost of health care in the pentagon are grown at an enormous rate.
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the health care costs which are significant for our personnel are unsustainable, and that -- we are going to have to figure out how to temper them in a way that does meet the needs of our people and also recognize there are limits. so, it is the totality of that i think we're when the leaders general deinze and others are very heavily focused on this right now on how to do this. mr. peterson spoke on the comments that i made a couple years ago, which is our budget has doubled, and in that in the crisis there's an awful lot of focus on this and we did not have to prioritize to make the hard decisions many of us had to make in the 90's. we lost or analytical underpinning. but that's all coming back to the current problem and we can
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spend less they are unilateral requirements just for the united states to protect our vital interests or requirements that we address with other partners throughout the world. .. [inaudible conversations]
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here's a look at the prime time lineup on the c-span networks. a 7:00 eastern on c-span virginia senator mark warner on the plan to allow more highly skilled immigrants to the u.s. on the 8 8:00 p.m. eastern the president and the second biggest provider on medicare health plans. a discussion on scientific prediction about the future and the impact they have open public policy. coming up at 7:00 eastern c-span will be live with a discussion on skilled immigrants. virginia senator talks about his plan hosted a the university of virginia. live on c-span starting at 7:00 eastern. >> we had the explosions of knowledge in medicine, but we
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have not coordinated care. and the services that we have end up having so many cracks that the cracks are as harmful as the disease that we're treating. you have to step back and ask, you know, are we puttering people overall? on a global level what are we doing sometimes? and of course now we have these reports saying 30% of everything we do may not be necessary in health care. when we step back. 30 percent of all of the medications we prescribe. the test we order. the procedures. this is something, i think which it for the first time being called out as a problem. >> dysfunction in the u.s. health care industry. dr. marty m aka ry on what hospitals won't tell you. saturday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 p. leon
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panetta on the syria government response against the rebel. the remarking game at the joint briefing with the veteran affair secretary eric shinseki on efforts to assist military personnel reentering life. if no agreement is reached on the fiscal cliff. this twenty five minute event took police at the veteran affair offices in washington, d.c. thank you, tommy. first, let me thank secretary panetta for the unwavering support for the here at the va and the men and women who wear and have worn the uniform of the nation. our close partnership with the immediating we had -- meeting we had today on their behalf has never been more important as it is today. as we enter the holiday season i want to thank the men and whoim
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spend their holiday away from the families defending the nation. we're grateful for their the service and sacrifice. as we have discussed very little what we do here at va -- most of what we work on originated in dodd and that's why achieving our priorities at va requires the close and collaborative working relationship. we have more to do but with president obama's strong support and guidance we have brought the two departments closer together than ever before. we have underwritten joint vad. we began harmonizing our decisions. we committed both department to a common joint integrated health record. the iehr which will be open in architecture and the nonproprietary design. today veterans wait too late to receive the benefits they earn. together we're streamlining the
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processes, sharing more information between the departments. we supported dod implementation of the president's initiative to redesign the transition assistance program so that it is mandatory seamless, and productive. the new program provides a warm handoff from service-member to veteran status to ensure all who have served are prepared to transition in to civilian life and that they have accessed the va benefits and services they have earned. with the executive order to improve access to -- [inaudible] president obama continues to demonstrate that his commitment to veterans is genuine and runs deep. leon and i are working with side by side to ensure that service-members and veterans receive the care they deserve and secretary panetta, thank you for your leadership and partnership, and i say it all the time. veterans couldn't have a
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stronger ally in their field. >> thank you very much, rick. i appreciate that very much pane i appreciate your friendship and your cooperation in this effort. to do everything question do bring our departments together to make sure that we serve those who serve the country. i'm pleased to have the opportunity to be here again at the department of veterans affairs, this is part of our effort at regular -- to make sure that the efforts to create a seamless approach with regards to our veterans is working. we are trying to build -- as the president asked us to build an integrated military at veteran support system. make no mistake, this is a real challenge. it's not something that comes easy to two very large departments two bureaucracies that have the own rules and
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regulations. but it is important to get them to work together. if service-members and veterans and their families are to get the kind of seamless experience they deserve, then our job, secretary of veterans affairs and secretary of defense, our job is to make very clear that there is got to be good cooperation at all levels. this effort cannot be about turf. it's got to be about serving our veterans. very encouraged at the level of collaboration between our two departments, i believe is better than it ever has been in the past. yet we still have to reach much deeper in to a level of what collaboration that will meet the needs of our veterans. we owe it to them too give them the tools they need with their lives back together.
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and pursue the goals of getting a good education, and getting the best health care, whether it's axeling in a new career, whether it's serving in government, or starting a business. as i said before, this is in many ways a national security issue. it goes to the heart of taking care of the people that fight for us. and ensuring that we can then recruit the best force that is possible. part that have is making sure that we maintain faith with our troops and families. and to give them confidence that they have world class support system, that they have earned when they came to the military. today we discuss a number of steps to get our departments to work together to further enhance dod-va collaboration. in particular our discussion
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focused on a redesign transition assistance program or the tap program. the vow to hire heroes act mandated that all service-members participate in the t. a. p. program in order to prepare them the life after the military. we have a large number of individuals in the military, you know, as we transition over the next few years in terms of the structure. we have a lot of people going in to the the system. i'm dplieghted -- that delighted to report that we have satisfied that the requirement of the act having been fully tested in terms of effectivenesses at all 206 installations is ready to go. on track to implement additional tracks for service-members interested in education and technical training and entrepreneurship by october 2013. working together dodd and va are doing erg we can to streamline
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the disability claims process. it's one of the priority for the president and it's a priority for us. one of the challenges the department of veterans affair they had to face is handling those claims filed well after veterans have departed from service. to try to address this challenge, dod agreed agreed in principle to conduct more detail-exit physicals for departing service-members who are not immediately filing a va disability claim. what that does, frankly, it helps expedite the process so that we don't have to go far back to the poos to try to determine whether the claim is valid or not. it will ensure if a service-member wants to file a claim in the future, the va will have the health information they need from dod at the finger tips. and can more quickly process that claim. we also discussed something that is a tough challenge for both
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departments, which is an electronic health care record integration. the ability to bring that information together across our two departments is extremely important for our medical professionals. in order to provide the best care possible. this is obviously a challenging effort. this is really a tough effort, but we are continuing to work at and confronting technical and bureaucracy challenges head on. today both secretary eric shinseki and i agreed to -- for accelerating the program to try to integrate the health care systems. and what we said is that we want to be able to meet or beat the schedule that we have established as targets here. we have asked that plan be presented to us by early january. we have to do everything we can
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to move this on a more expeditious path. we discussed president obama's order improve access to mental health care services for well for veterans and service-members and military families. in october of this year at the pentagon, i had a positive meeting with military and veteran ngo members. i promised them that i would work with secretary sen to -- outcomes for the hidden wounds of war. and that's exactly what we have been doing. we did it again today. i'm pleased we'll be readied to provide the president the joint recommendation in the area within the next three months by the end of february 2013. we also know they're dealing with the problem of suicide in mt. military and among the veterans. it's a terrible, terrible challenge that we are dealing with. and we have to do everything we
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can between dod and va to ensure our systems are equipped to give the people the help they need north to deal with the unique circumstances we're confronted. let me finally close by applauding the dedicatedded dod and va professors that care for our troops, that care our veterans, the troops and our families. >> -- they work hard every day. they are part of one family member. we support one another and i think we strength end our bond between the two departments. i'm grateful for the vision and leadership in supporting those as i said have served the country. america's men and women in uniform, as i said, put their lives on the line every day in order to keep the country safe. we owe it to those that fight for us, fight for them. programs to help our warriors were developed out of the best intentions. too often they fall victim to
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red tape, too often they fall stroim victim to bureaucracy. secretary of veterans affairs and secretary of defense deeply believe that we can and will do better. we will accept nothing less than the best services question provide for those that serve this country. okay. thank you gentleman. we're going to have time for a few questions. the -- [inaudible] yes. secretary, as you mentioned the long-term detailed physicals and some of the things you're going do to address the backlog benefit. are are there any plans to with the current problems. the more immediate problems we have seen over the last year with the increased wait time and bag -- backlog.
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are they far off in the future? >> i would say that we have actions and progress now, i think you may be familiar with our veterans benefits management system automation. a what has, to this point, been a paper process. why in this department where we have one of the country's best electronic health records in our benefits administration are paper? so we have been go on -- developing this tool for the last few years. it's in the process of being at 18 regional offices before the end of the december and will be fully fielded with the automation system in 2013. to try to eliminate the backlog as we have indicated we would in 23015. in the meantime the tremendous partnership with dod will begin to effect the claims that are,
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about to be created. both in the personal and medical data bases so that there is this search for information in the future. [inaudible] >> can you help us understand your assessment if the country goes off the fiscal cliff if there is sequestration the impact on the iraq or afghanistan -- [inaudible] direct impact your assessment how it will impact them. first to you secretary panetta president obama made the statement about syria and chemical weapons again and secretary clinton did. we understand the red line. the world, this week, certainly growing concern about syria's potential use of chemical weapons. can we ask you your view on
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this. how concerned are you? how imminent are your concerns? and should assad believe that his weapons are sheltered and safe from potential -- a potential response in a potential military action by anyone? >> well, without commenting on the specific intelligence that we have with regards to the chemical weapons, there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned that as the ouch suggestion advances in particular damascus and the regime, we very well consider the use of chemical well -- weapons. the whole world is watching. the world is watching very closely. and the president of the united states has made very clear that there will be cops consequenceses -- consequences
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there will be consequences if the assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons. i'm not going speculate, comment on what the potential consequences would be. i think it's fair enough to say that there are use of the -- [inaudible] the intelligence that we have raises serious concerns. i think that, you know, the president decided that the department of veterans for the sequestration. i would say we, you know, look at that as great news the
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president has grown our budget over the last four years, and that gives us opportunity to take care of iraq and afghanistan veterans who are leaving the force. but the reason we meet frequently, i think this is our at the present time meeting between -- tenth meeting between the secretary of defense and the secretary of veterans affair and something like the last 22 monthses is because we establish that there is a relationship between our two departments that may not exist between other departments. and as i indicated very little what we work on here originated here. and therefore the collaboration is important. so if leon is dealing with issues of sequestration, i'm concerned as well because of the likely impact it would have on
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veterans as they transition out of dod. even though the va piece has been accepted. so -- [inaudible] that's the reason we are meeting to ensure the transition. we have anticipated the requirements we think of the next several years it's going a significant number of people leaving. our meetings are all about focusing on making sure that those transitions are seamless and seamless as question make it, and in time truly seamless. an individual who is raising their right hand and taking the oath of allee again, swearing in to the military today when they choose to leave in a few years down the road whether it's three or twenty, that those records
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are already present in the virginia system. >> there's no question that if sequestration happens, it will impact on those who are coming -- it's going to impact on what we're going able to provide them. the cuts are across the board. under the approach that developed the sequestration formula, and it is going to have a serious impact in terms of those come home, the programs that serve them, the support systems we have. not only for them but for their families. it's for that reason, obviously, that continuing hope is that leadership in this country comes together and finds an agreement that avoids this deficit. >> thank you. >> from the va?
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[inaudible] one of the big problems with -- disability claims is the medical records issue. [inaudible] secretary panetta, you described something that helps people still on the service by having veteran physicals so when they leave the service they'll have a better record what their problems are. what do you do with the people in the middle. the hundreds of thowrchedz of people who have submitted claim and they have being post posted that the medical records don't exist or to too complicated to come by so you can't prove or disprove whether they have a disability. is there any hope for them what the two of you are working on? >> i think the production demonstrates we are working these cases where the records aren't immediately available. we go through the effort to
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develop that. we have fully developed claim that can make judgments. we're doing that at the rate of 1 million claims a year. the challenge for us is we got a million plus in return. that's why the automation system veteran benefit management system is key to the ability to deal with those numbers. and we'll continue to push a million claims out the door, hopefully increase the production. and so we get control of the numberings. we have both a short term and a long-term solutions here. but again, this is why this -- these meetings and this relationship is important. >> i have a question on mental health. the joint dod-va guidance on treating veterans with president
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second -- ptsd for use of opiates and use of -- now concerns are you that the guidelines aren't being followed a the clinical level between patient and there. what kind of data are you seeing to support the fact that the treatments are actually these guidelines are being followed. and secretary panetta, a quick followup on barbara's question given the serious concerns, would it be correct to assume there's no thinking about pro everyonetive action. is it using the weapons or intelligence trigger something? >> let me go at the discussion about opiates or any of the addictive drugs. again, this is why this relationship is important because there is a stark point for many of the issues and it
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comes down to our being courageous enough to ask ourselves whether it be having the right approach on the medication whether we overmedicate. and we're going to answer the questions. i have a personal opinion here, but i would like to see the results of the search. it will be a joint effort between the dod medical community and the -- va community. we have comprehensive strategy on how to deal with it. >> i think that, you know, just on that issue alone, the, you know, dealing with the problem, obviously it involves providing some prescription drugs but at the same time it should also provide a series of other ways to try to assist people that are facing this problem consultation, other assistance, other guidance to try to help people, you know, the ability of
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others to spot the problem whether it's depression or drug addiction or whatever might contribute to problems they're confronting. but clearly i think, you know, we want to make sure that the prescriptions are being provided are the ones that are sufficient, to meet the problem and don't go beyond that. on the issue of related to syria, there's not much more to be said other than that, you know, president is made very clear that the assad regime ought not to make a mistake of thinking somehow it can use chemical weapons on the own people and get away with that. there will be consequences. thank you, everybody.
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[inaudible conversations] resolutions. this part of the briefings is almost twenty minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning and aloha. i'm glad to be here to talk to you today about the pacific command where we are today and where we are sitting in the future. since the last time i was here, we continued to move forward on the rebalance initiative efforts best directed by president obama. as you all know, the rebalance strength on the u.s. government including policy, diplomacy, trade, and of course, security and that's the area that i work in. for me, the rebalance has been
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and it continues to be about strengthening relationships, adjusting our military posture and presence, employing new concept, capability and capacity to ensure that we can continue to effectively and efficiently contribute to the stabilityd and security the asia-pacific as we protect u.s. national interest. of course, the keys to success will be innovative access agreements, greatly increased exercises, rotational presence increases, efficient force posture initiatives that will mack maze the dollars that given to spend. it also by put the most capable forces forward as well as our newest most advanced equipment to ensure pee we effectively operate with the allies and partners across a wide range of operations as we work together for peace and stability. i was asked to keep the opening
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remarkings a little bit shorter than last time so i can get to your question. i would like to finish up with a couple of thoughts. the rebalance is based on a strategy of collaboration and cooperation. not containment. and that the united states is a pacific power that will remain pacific power, look forward to doing our part to keep asia-pacific hopeful, peaceful, and secure for decades to come. thank you. >> we'll take the first question right here. >> thank you for -- [inaudible] i'm with the "world journal" could you address the growing chinese assertivenesses the south china sea and the east china sea -- the foreign ships are going territorial waters. so are you going participate in the coming events?
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and what can that message -- [inaudible] thank you. >> well, thank you for that question. of course, the issues that are being faced today in the south china sea and other areas in the north and central east asia, i think are complicated because of the nature of the territorial disputes. some of them historic, some of them now driven by the need for access to resources in those areas, and i think, to some degree has motivated some of the activities you see seeing there. the u.s. position, as you know, we don't take sides on territorial dispute. there's many of those around the globe not just around the south china sea. we want them resolved peacefully, without coerce. and that we call on all the parties there including the chinese to ensure that as the
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approach the problems they do so in a way that avoids con flict within that avoids miscalculation, that using the vehicles advantage today through diplomacy and through those legal forums that allow them to get to reasonable solutions on these without resorting to coerce and conflict. and so it's important, i think, to as we go. forward to ensure that all -- parties remain calm about these things and we don't unnecessarily introduce a war-fighting apparatus to the discussions -- decisions or discussions. >> great. a question about north korea, if i could. it's been a little while [inaudible] has taken over. i want to ask north korea's military policy has changed since he's come on board.
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do you see it as a continuation of how they act in the approaches under the predecessor. >> i think we are in the wait and see stages. ..
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>> there might be some activity on that front, anything new that you can provide insight into launches or things like that? >> well, i think you're tracking it pretty well, i think through the media today. there are indications, declared indications of their intention to do what they would call a peaceful satellite launch. we believe it is still in contradictory to the u.n. security council resolutions that because of the nature of the type of missile that they'll be firing and the implications it has for ballistic missile type of activity somewhere down the road and the destabilizing impact that will have on the security environment throughout the region not just on the peninsula. >> [inaudible] from cnn. >> can you -- [inaudible] what's your assessment?
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they say they've solved whatever problems they had with their april failed launch. what have you seen, what's your assessment, how could they have solved the problems? who might have helped them? do you see iran in there possibly helping them? who else? and do you think he's doing this in response to hard liners in his own government? why would he be doing this? >> well, i think the professed reason is to probably do it in conjunction with the anniversary on the 17th which is widely reported in the paper, in the newspapers. but, you know, my -- our assessment is that their desire to continue down this road is motivated by their desire to insure that their capability -- they're now a self-proclaimed nuclear state. their ability to be able to demonstrate to the world that they have the capacity to be able to build and have the
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missile technology to be able to use it in ways of their choosing down the road. and this, as i said earlier, would be very destabilizing, i think, to not only the region, but to the international security environment. who's helping them in my assessment of their ability to be able to launch this missile? i think that they have progressively gained better technology over time, and they have progressively gained that through a number of methods over a number of years and decades. to the degree that they will be more successful than they were last time in such a short period of time and how that -- what they've done to correct it, i can't tell you how they assess that. we'll just have to -- should they choose to go ahead with it, we'll just have to see how it goes. >> -- moving into the region to monitor this? >> well, i won't go into the specifics of how we or our allies position ourselves to insure that we understand what's happening, but we do watch this very carefully, watch it very
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closely. of course, in my role as the pa-com commander, my number one priority is to insure that we have a properly reassured our allies and they have properly defended our own home lambed, and we will -- homeland, and we will position our assets necessary to do that. >> [inaudible] >> um, very much related to that, on a recent trip to the region by secretary panetta, he announced the deployment of a radar with one of our allies. can you give us a status on that program, and are other efforts underway or envisioned to increase broadly missile defense, our posture there and that of our allies and part hers? >> yes -- partner? >> yes. i have nothing further to add than what secretary panetta announced. we continue to discuss that with our allies, japanese allies to determine the timing, location and where that would be. so i have nothing more to add on
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that. however, when it comes to ballistic missile defense, first of all, it is a complex problem. it's a problem that affects all of our partners and allies in the region as well as our homeland. and that we will continue to look for opportunities to be able to strengthen our partnerships and our capabilities with our allies to be able to deal with the threats as they emerge, and we're doing that today. >> are you speaking specifically to any partners or allies about additional x-band radar, interceptors, anything else? >> at this point in time, we're not -- i'm not prepared to talk about any of the details of that. i would just say that we continue to look for opportunities to improve our capabilities as the threat set changes and grows. >> [inaudible] you -- [inaudible] india on your first trip. can you give us a sense of what kind of -- [inaudible] with india and what would be your priorities with your indian
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navy and military? and recently u.s. was included as the dialogue partner -- [inaudible] how is it going to help you in your activities in the asia pacific region? >> well, let me start with your last question first. as far as the indian ocean organization that you related to that we are, we're not a part of, but we are invited as an observer to it. in general, throughout the indoe-pacific region, first you have to understand the breadth and scope of that region. it's well over half the people in the world live in that region. all the major economies are in that region including ours. seven of the ten largest armies in that region. you can put all the continents in the world in the pacific ocean, you can put 'em all in the pacific ocean and still have room for another africa, another
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canada, another united states and another mexico. and that's just in the pacific. the indian ocean is vast as well. so you have this really large, very dynamic -- can't even call it a region. it's half the world. where you have historical ties between countries, bilateral, multilateral, and you have this -- there's no one security organization that's able to deal with things such as a nato. and i don't think you'll ever get to that because it's such a vast and diverse region. and so we have to rely on and have to support these multilateral organizations that allow us to capitalize on where we have like interests and to not be afraid to allow other countries to lead in those areas. so now to the earlier question, you know, we very much support india military, india taking a leadership in the security issues in and around the indian
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ocean, and we're looking for opportunities to participate and interoperate with them where we can. i have been directed by the president to seek -- as all other parts of our government have -- to seek a long-term security relationship, partnership with india, and that covers a lot of different areas. but in the military area we look for opportunities to interoperate with each other, and we're head inside that direction. headed in that direction. >> [inaudible] >> -- china's aircraft carrier, because in this town it's a sign of, you know, inevitable con conflict -- [inaudible] not to worry about. should americans worry about this thing? >> well, you know, my assessment is that if i were china and i was in the economic position that china's in and i was in a position of where i have to look after my global security
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interests, i would consider building an aircraft carrier. and i might consider building several aircraft carriers. so the real question is whether we should be concerned with them or not. like any other country that builds aircraft carriers is whether or not those types of platforms will be successfully integrated into a global security environment that's a peaceful one. and they have a role in maintaining the peaceful global security environment. if the issue is that they're not part of that global security environment, then i think we have to be concerned about that. >> so -- [inaudible] >> well, i think we're, we're hopeful that they're part of the security environment, and we're doing everything we can possible with our, with the chinese at least on the mil to mil to try to bring them into the security environment in a way that's already fairly mature globally, in a way that they are productive part of that environment.
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>> [inaudible] >> mike gibbons from the times. admiral, since the strategy was changed to focus efforts towards your area of the world, what would you say are the most important capabilities you've actually been able to add to pacific command than what you had before? >> well, i'd like to note we've only been at the rebalance publicly for less than a year, so strategies often take time to be able to gets a sets and policies in place. but i think the most important thing was what we did at the beginning was the fact that we looked at the world, a post, you know, afghanistan area, and we said as we reshape our force for the future, where do our primary interests lie. and i think the most important thing was that the president put
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out a strategy that said that this was a priority for us now. and he said that publicly to the world and that at all levels of government including the military we have moved forward to insure our allies in the region that this is actually a priority for us and we're going to do i. so i would note that the president was in cambodia right after the election. and he was in burma. and secretary clinton moves widely throughout the region, as does secretary panetta. and the amount of activities that i do and my forces do have been a prompt jump of what we've done in the past, and we're looking for opportunities to do more exercise. we are doing more of those things already. and i think it's visible to our allies, i think it's visible to our partners, visible to the region. we often want to jump to the, well, where's the next submarine or aircraft carrier, and that's always the signal.
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and we will over time, as you've heard secretary panetta say, we will rebalance our navy towards the pacific. and we'll -- i've already mentioned in my opening remarks, we're rapidly moving our most capable assets into the region because of some the ballistic missile defense threats we face and those types of things. so i think it's not about one thing, it's about a holistic approach. and what i do on the military side is only one aspect of it. it's got to be tied to what's happening in the economic side and what's happening in the diplomatic side. and so we're working hard with the a whole of government approach that accomplishes the strategy. >> sorry, one quick question. you started to do or planned to do rotational b-52 deployments to northern australia. >> well, you know, we're having a -- as you saw the outcome of the -- [inaudible] and what was there. we have a wonderful relationship and alliance with our australian
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counterparts, particularly in the mil-to-mil area, and the two countries we continue to look at opportunities where we might partner better to be able to provide, you know, provide a better security structure in that part of the world which has growing importance, i think, to the global security environment and the global economic environment. >> [inaudible] >> my name's -- [inaudible] china news agency of hong kong. you mentioned before that you like to see a mature military-to-military relationship with china, and secretary panetta and secretary -- [inaudible] have invited china to join the green pac exercise of 2014. how do they respond that, and have you any, have any -- [inaudible] chinese counterpart regarding the military-to-military
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exchange program in 2013? and how would you deal with the new chinese military leader? >> yes. well, first of all, let me say that i think the mil-to-mil relationships in the last couple years between us have been quite historic. they have, they have increased, and they have endured what in the might have made them be truncated. so they've endured diplomatic issues that in the past might have stopped them, and we've continued to have the mil to mil. as i've said before, i've been, was invited to beijing twice, i've visited with my counterparts there. just yesterday in my headquarters the deputy chief of the pla navy was in hawaii with -- at my headquarters receiving briefings on the future activities that our navies will do together,
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looking, talking through the issues, the rim of the pacific exercise which you mentioned that will happen in 2014. we have a growing ability to have a dialogue at the military level that's frank and open, and we do that through consultant talks that we do on a periodic basis. and then we build a calendar of events on the areas where we think we have the most opportunity to have success working together, we build that calendar of events. and so far we're having a very good record on meeting those objectives and actually completing them. right now i believe there is this this time frame i don't know exactly, but there's an hadr exercise that we are doing in a bilateral way between the u.s. military and pa-com and with the pla. so i've just sent letters to my counterparts congratulating them on their promotions and hoping that we continue to have a good
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and open dialogue. because in the end, it's, you know, we have the responsibility, the pla and the u.s. military have a responsibility to have a good dialogue and a good relationship. it's in the best interests of not only regional security in asia, but also global security. >> [inaudible] >> andrea butler with aviation week. i'd like to follow up on tom, the answer you gave to tom regarding missile defense and dig a little deeper, if possible. how concerned are you about the potential loss of the use of sbx and the fact that the missile defense program here in the states hasn't produced a successful intercept with the receptor since 2008? and as a follow-on to that, can you go into what you think your vision should be for adapting the paa that's in europe into asia? because leaders here have said they would like to do some sort of paa in asia.
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>> well, you asked a lot of questions in there. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> well, let me talk about the sbx in general. you know, the sbx was built as a research and development platform. it wasn't designed to be in a long-term ballistic missile defense architecture. it still has benefit in research and development, but since it was built, my estimation is that the overall sophistication of the bmd capabilities have grown, and it's grown globally so that the need to have sbx in that role has diminished over time because other capabilities are mature enough to be able to not have to have it. as far as the ability for the intercepters to be productive, i think you have to look across all of technologies that we've pursued in bmd and recognize the that the significant technological challenges that
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have been associate with the that program and really i think you have in the time frame that we've had to develop these systems, i think we've done the technological part of the, this ballistic missile defense have done really amazing things in that time frame to be able to produce the capabilities that are there now. and i'm confident that they're going to produce the result that you are asking about in the near future. as far as the overall how you would put a paa in europe, i came from europe in my last position. and, again, i think it goes back to a discussion, for me, about europe versus the size and immensity can and vastness of this region -- immensity and vastness of this region in the indo-pacific. and trying to apply that exact model to defense of this area, i
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think, would be a stretch for me. however, i think there are opportunities as we look at our alliances, as we look at our growing partnerships, as we look at multilateral organizations who are investing in ballistic missile defense capabilities of their own. if they are properly networked and properly put into an organizational construct where they can work together, you will, in effect, have a type of paa architecture. and i think that will happen over time. it will require information sharing between countries who may have not done that before and may be a little uncomfortable with it. but i think that as the security environment changes, that there will be good opportunities for that to occur, and we will pursue those. >> as a follow-up. in europe you have nato as at least an organizing construct. you don't have that in the pacific. so when you talk about networking and linking things together, what is your construct
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to do that? [inaudible] bilateral, is the u.s. going to be a broker? >> well, you know, we have historically had a hub and spoke bilateral relationship strategy in this part of the world. and so, and now we're seeing the need for more multilateral organizations. so inherent in multilateralism are the discussions about these kind of collective security type of initiatives that you might pursue using the technologies that you're able to buy and be able to operate. so i think there's a way ahead here. >> thanks, admiral. my name's david alexander from reuters. you mentioned burma a little bit earlier. can you talk a little bit about where military-to-military relations are with burma and how you see them developing in the next couple years? >> right. well, first mil-to-mil in burma, you know, we're in the follow on the state department and the decisions on where to go
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forward, so we will be supporting commander to the state department on this. my opinion is that as we, as the state department and the leadership of the congress and everything works through any issues that might have in the past prevented mil to mil, that there are areas in our mil-to-mil relationships that we can be productive in early on that will help a government who in -- and a military who are seeking reform to be able to do things with them that will help them understand and help them with more productive in that -- help them be more productive in that reform, particularly as it relates to how you build a military that's subservient to a civilian leadership. how do you build a mill their that -- military that values rule of law, that values human rights and can calculate that into its organizational construct and its training.
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and we can add value in those areas, and we're prepared to do that. >> [inaudible] that sort of thing. >> yes. >> we have time for two more. we'll go justin and then christina. >> thanks. yeah, justin -- [inaudible] with fox news. i wanted to ask you about the strategic shift to your region to the pa-com region. are you concerned that this shift could be considered premature considering there are still real problems in the middle east if you look at syria where the u.s. is at risk for being drawn into a serious conflict there with chem weapons? there's obviously real concerns about iran as well. is this shift occurring before the job is done in the middle east? >> well, i would go back to the president's strategy on this and take a look at it. didn't say that we would only, we'd shift everything we have in the military or in our, across our government into the asia pacific. it prioritized the asia pacific,
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but it also talked about an enduring requirement for us to be present and in a security role in the middle east as well. so, you know, we're talking about, i think, a near-term perspective on this. you know, we're -- we see a glide slope in afghanistan. yes, the middle east is, has, has issues and has historically had issues that will require, i think, obviously, u.s. leadership, but also will require a certain level of military security over time. and we will have to balance that as we look at the size and nature of our force structure. and, you know, what we have, the assets that we have to be able to accomplish it. i'm convinced that we can do both in the long run, and i'm convinced that we're on a good glide slope in the asia pacific that will allow us to realize that over the next number of years.
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>> christina long with the washington times. thanks for coming the speak with us. um, according to news reports, u.s. officials have said several navy ships have moved into the region. can you talk about why we're sending ships to the region and, um, also the number one concern with north korea's planned missile launch, whether it's that they're violating u.n., you know, international regulations or whether we're worried that they can actually launch a ballistic missile that could reach the u.s.? so what the number one concern is with that and why we're moving to the region. >> now, the moving the ships would be today moving them today or in the long run? >> in -- today. or in this week. >> oh, okay. well, we move ships around the region all the time. we actually have a fairly robust forward deployed naval force that's actually stationed in that part of the world, so we do move them around for exercises, move them around for contingencies, and in this case,
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you know, it should seem logical that we'll move them around so we have the best situational awareness that we have. and to the degree that those ships are capable of participating in ballistic missile defense, then we'll position them to be able to do that. and so we will go forward with that as we did in the last time they had. a lot of this is about, number one, is so we understand what's going on. it's a, secondly so that we understand if they do violate the security council and launch a missile, what kind is it? what is it about? where does it go? who does it threaten? where does the parts of it that don't go, ha don't go where they want it to go, where do they go, and what are the consequences of that? and eventually i think your question about, about, you know, our concerns as far as homeland defense, i think, you know, from my perspective at pa-com, i have
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to, number one, kind of worry about reassuring our allies and assuring that we have that well done. i also have a homeland defense requirement for guam and for the marianas and other states in the, in that part of the world. but i also have a supporting role to insure that homeland defense should at some point in time there be a nation that decided to attack the homeland with a ballistic missile that i'm positioned to be able to support my other commanders, northern command, strategic command to be able to influence that in a way that we control the outcome of it. >> what is the likely u.s. response, um, given that north korea will likely launch a missile in the next few weeks? >> well, you'd have to refer -- i'd refer you to the state department or to osd on that. that's not my lane, to see what that response would be. >> so we're monitoring the situation very closely? >> very closely. >> thanks a lot. if you've got any closing comments to wrap up?
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>> only that i appreciate all of you taking the time to come and do this. the asia pacific is, is a very complex region, but i believe that if we work this right, that we can continue to provide, to have a productive, generally-secure environment in the asia pacific that we've enjoyed for the last roughly about 50 or 60 years that, i think, has given rise to a lot of economic growth, a lot of democratization, a lot of things that have been good for a growing global economy and a growing, you know, humanity, growing humanity. and so i think we have the opportunity to do, to do that. and my job is to insure that that's, that's the direction we he.

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